Heisman Hoax

The Heisman Trophy will be presented tonight to the best college football athlete. Yeah right, more like the college football player that got the most TV time during the season. A lot of “experts” are calling this Jameis Winston’s coronation, but there are other players that have a legitimate chance at winning the trophy. The 6 finalist are Jordan Lynch, Johnny Manziel, Tre Mason, AJ McCarron, Andre Williams, and of course Jameis Winston. But here is my argument; do you really want to win the Heisman?

Jay Berwanger was the first Heisman winner but never played a game in the NFL

Jay Berwanger was the first Heisman winner but never played a game in the NFL

The Heisman trophy has been awarded to the best college football player every year since 1935 when it was awarded to Jay Berwanger, a senior running back out of Chicago University. He was drafted in the NFLs first inaugural draft by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1936 but demanded too much of the Eagles ($1,ooo a game) so he was traded to the Chicago Bears. He did not sign right away to try to make the Olympic decathlon team but when he didn’t make it, he and the Bears weren’t able to agree on a contract and so he got a job at a local rubber factory and never played a down in the NFL.


This should have been a sign. Since 2000, only 6 Heisman winners have won the following bowl game.

Year Player Team Bowl Game Bowl Game Result
2012 Johnny Manziel #10 Texas A&M Cotton Bowl Classic W, 41-13
2011 Robert Griffin III #12 Baylor Alamo Bowl W, 67-56
2010 Cam Newton #1 Auburn BCS National Championship W, 22-19
2009 Mark Ingram #1 Alabama BCS National Championship W, 37-21
2008 Sam Bradford #1 Oklahoma BCS National Championship L, 14-24
2007 Tim Tebow #9 Florida Capital One Bowl L, 35-41
2006 Troy Smith #1 Ohio State BCS National Championship L, 14-41
2005 Reggie Bush USC* Rose Bowl (National Championship) L, 38-41
2004 Matt Leinart #1 USC Orange Bowl (National Championship) W, 55-19**
2003 Jason White #1 Oklahoma Sugar Bowl (National Championship) L, 14-21
2002 Carson Palmer #5 USC Orange Bowl (National Championship) W, 38-17
2001 Eric Crouch #2 Nebraska Rose Bowl (National Championship) L, 14-37
2000 Chris Weinke #2 Florida State Orange Bowl (National Championship) L, 2-13

*Ranked #1 in the AP and Coaches Polls prior to university penalty and season revocation

** USC’s 2005 BCS Championship was revoked due to player in eligibility


RGIII is the only Heisman winning QB to have a career passer rating over 90

Fifteen Heisman winners went undrafted in the NFL draft including most recent 2003 winner Jason White. There have been 26 quarterbacks that have won the trophy. Out of that 26, 20 of those quarterbacks started in at least one NFL game as a quarterback. Only four of those 20 have had a winning record in the NFL regular season. Only Robert Griffin III has had a career passer rating above 90 (91.5). Since 1950, all 20 of the quarterbacks that have started a game in the NFL have had a combined winning percentage of .487 (with a record of 465-489-3). Only twice has a Heisman winning quarterback led the league in passing yards, but not since 1949. Those two quarterbacks are Davey O’Brien in 1939 and Johnny Lujack in 1949.

Heisman winners have combined for 9 Super bowl wins and only Jim Plunkett and Roger Stauback have won more than 1, they each won 2. And finally there were only 5 hall of famers, Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen, Tony Dorsett, Roger Staughbach, and Doak Walker.

I think that should convince people that the Heisman trophy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The only successful Heisman winners as of 2000 are Robert Griffin III (although he is struggling this year), Cam Newton, you can argue Reggie Bush and Carson Palmer. That’s it. So I don’ know about you but I am starting to think that I don’t want to win the Heisman trophy if it means I won’t last long in the pros.


About Kevin Bridge

I am an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee majoring in journalism and electronic media. I am one of the co-founders of The Backfield Press.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s